Star Trek Voyager wrapped its seventh and final season in May of 2001. The third spin-off carried the franchise into the new millennium. It was the only Star Trek on the air for its last two seasons. The show had been airing concurrently with Deep Space Nine, but that incarnation of Star Trek was syndicated, while Voyager was United Paramount Network’s flagship show.
Voyager finally makes it home in the series finale, but only because of a future incarnation of Captain Janeway who goes back in time to get the crew to the Alpha Quadrant. The episode opens with fireworks as Voyager flies over the Golden Gate Bridge. A newsreader’s voice-over reveals that it is the 10th anniversary of the ship’s return after their 23-year journey through the Delta Quadrant. Janeway ends the video and we see her older with silver hair. After the credits the crew gathers for a party and we see them 26 years older.
Content Warning: “Extreme Risk” deals with depression, self-harm, and mentions suicide.
“Extreme Risk” begins with B’Elanna Torres’ orbital skydiving on the holodeck. She pushes the shuttle even higher and disables the safety protocols, despite the warning of the computer. When she’s called to work, the chief engineer asks Seven of Nine to oversee the probe launch on her behalf. The liberated Borg drone, who joined the crew at the beginning of Season four, is surprised, as she and B’Elanna did not get along initially.
It doesn’t take long for a Delta Quadrant alien to find Voyager’s probe. This time it’s the Malon, introduced during the premiere of Season five as a species with a garbage problem. Captain Janeway sends the probe to a gas giant to avoid recapture by the Malon, but it becomes stuck in the atmosphere and out of range of transporters. Tom Paris proposes they construct a new type of shuttle, one outfitted specifically for the Delta Quadrant. He calls it the Delta Flyer. The Captain is on board with the idea and wants it built in under a week.
Voyager was the third Star Trek show in a row to reach 100 episodes. The cast and production crew had a party behind the scenes, with a big cake, as well as a celebration scene in “Timeless.” The Voyager crew are celebrating the installation of their Quantum Slipstream drive. B’Elanna even toasts the new warp drive with a bottle of champagne. Janeway raises a glass and says this is their ticket out of the Delta Quadrant after nearly five years of an arduous journey.
But not all are enjoying the celebration. Paris is already obsessing about the new engine. He’s worried the drive is defective. Harry Kim takes him to the holodeck where they run simulations. Twenty runs and twenty catastrophes later, the two bring their concerns to the Captain. Rather than scrap the project entirely, Harry proposes to take the Delta Flyer into the Slipstream ahead of Voyager and send course corrections to compensate for turbulence.
The USS Voyager is the only Federation ship in the Delta Quadrant and Captain Kathryn Janeway’s primary mission is to get her crew back home. Along the way they’ve explored new worlds. Unfortunately, most of the aliens they encounter are hostile. Still two years into their journey, the crew is in high spirits for the most part. They have begun to bond outside of work. More often than not, the crew gathers on the holodeck, a virtual reality room that can be programed to recreate any place real or imaginary.
In the beginning of “Coda,” Neelix and Janeway talk about how well talent night went the evening before. During a shuttle trip, Chakotay points out that Kathryn’s ballet act was the highlight. She goads him into signing up for the next one before detecting surprise turbulence. The two struggle to land the shuttlecraft and Janeway is severely injured in the crash. The Vidiians, a hostile race of organ harvesters from Season 1 and 2, surround Chakotay and Janeway. They shoot the commander and strangle the captain.
The mid-nineties were a very busy time for Star Trek. The third spin-off of the original show, Star Trek: Voyager was in development soon after it was announced that TNG was ending. It was the first show to feature a female captain. Premiering in January 1995 on a new network backed by Paramount, Voyager introduced viewers to Captain Kathryn Janeway and her ship, the Intrepid class USS Voyager. The ship was much smaller than the Enterprise-D with a crew of only 141, and no civilians.
Behind the scenes Voyager was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. All three had experience with TNG. Jeri Taylor was the one of the first female executive producers and primarily responsible for the creation of Janeway’s character. They set the show aboard a starship once again but made sure to distinguish it from TNG. The smaller Voyager was designed for different missions, instead of exploring the Galaxy. The premise of the show was that Janeway and her crew were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, 75 years from home.